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Dr. Weil at The Natural Food Show – Part Deux

Dr. Andrew Weil on stage

Dr. Andrew Weil on stage

I have been to many food shows… New foods, new products… healthy not healthy, (as in The Fancy Food Show in San Francisco). But yesterdays’ keynote speaker, Dr. Andrew Weil at The Natural Food Show in Anaheim California still sits with me as I scramble to remember everything he said. As I sat in my seat, I jotted notes on my iphone. But once I was standing in line to ask a question, I really should have had my phone in hand.

Here are the top things, not discussed in yesterdays’ blog, that I want to share with you. (The picture you see captures just a third of the audience that enjoyed his talk).

And beyond his talk there are other things I experienced at yesterday’s show, I will share.

But let’s stay with Dr. Weil for a moment.

Easy to listen to....Dr. Weil

Easy to listen to….Dr. Weil

Here are the things that stick with me:

First: It’s a mess out there of information in media land. The information is pro one minute and con the next. I find that too, by the way, doing all my research. But I like that Andrew Weil says it is hard to do sweeping generalizations of anything these days. However, in both his words and mine, there are a couple of things we know for sure.


We know that high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil and refined soil bean oil either aren’t good for you, or your body cannot process it. Further? There is a sense of ‘dietary fascism’ out there… You can eat this, don’t eat that or else…. (Dr. Weil coined that phrase, not me). But it makes sense. I listen to so many people ‘hawking’ the latest crazes, the latest diets, the latest fasts. And it’s a ‘my way or the highway’ game plan. When in fact? Some raw, some veggies, less fruit, some protein (and if it’s beef it’s ok as long as it’s grass fed) is good for you and makes for a sensible diet. Keep moving. Eat well. Sleep well. Less Stress. Laugh. These are all Dr. Weil’s recommendations for a happy healthy life. And there’s more…..

Have you ever wondered why people recommend a whole grain, over just grains or pulverized grains (flour)? Dr. Weil explains that the whole grain takes a lot of work to digest, so it’s not spiking your sugar levels in your blood because it takes a much longer time to convert to glucose. We are processing whole grains just like our bodies are meant to process food. Takes a longer time. Metabolizes in a healthier way, (unlike sugar and flour, which does the polar opposite). Less sides on grains that have been broken down? Absorbs fast…. Makes sense?


Good! Glad you get that! And we all know (and Dr. Weil reminds us) that grains have been transformed… and it is not to our benefit. So we really have to continually research our food, and understand what makes sense to be eating.

You can even make good choices for Burger Week (this week in San Diego). There are good choices…. grass fed beef and vegetarian burgers. It doesn’t mean you have to go to McDonald’s or a local hamburger join that isn’t within the guidelines of healthy eating, right? I mean, you know that if you stick to organic, you’re going to rule out the pestisides, right? And stick to grass fed, you will rule out all the growth hormones, yes?


So, that’s probably the best you can do.

And for our raw eaters out there? Dr. Weil says it’s not good to do 100% raw. You think cooking kills the enzymes in your veggies? What do you think your own stomach does? Exactly the same thing. And raw enzymes actually shock your system according to Dr. Weil. The argument that you should eat everything raw, makes less sense, then we originally thought. And again, we go back to moderation. A bit of this, a bit of that…. and keeping the flour, the sugar, the growth hormones, the chemicals out of your choices? Staying organic? That’s probably the best we can do.

When I tell you, things change every day? That’s been my biggest dilemma in writing this blog. The same goes for Dr. Andrew Weil who remembers the days when he used to recommend Beta Carotine to prevent lung cancer and now knows that in fact it encourages the growth of lung cancer, so he no longer recommends that to patients.

One day Canola Oil is bad for you because it’s genetically modified? The next day it’s not.

Non GMO Canola OIl

Non GMO Canola OIl

Look at what I found at the show yesterday….. Non GMO Canola Oil. So it’s coming my friend. Things with the Organic Tag really do make a difference! The GMO companies can’t get past that standard of Organic! So that’s how we save ourselves from the fact that big companies have thrown a lot of money at labeling because they don’t want things labeled GMO. We simply eat organic!

And if you really want to put your thinking cap on, in the Dr. Weil mode? Next time you go to eat…. think about the fact that with some things, some foods we don’t know what the consequences are, down the road. And with that in mind? Just make good choices!

Happy Eating,

Chef Marian

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